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Maps on Acid: Cartographically constructing the acid rain environmental issue, 1972-1980
  • Brenden McNeil,
  • Karen Culcasi
Brenden McNeil
West Virginia University

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Karen Culcasi
West Virginia University
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In the paper summarized by this presentation we trace how maps aided the conceptualization and ensuing debate over one of the first inherently spatial and multiscale environmental issues, acid rain. Through interviews with early acid rain ecologists and a critical cartographic analysis of printed maps, we show that mapping was central for constructing this environmental issue. Rather than static representations of a scientific reality, acid rain maps were interconnected and relational processes that operated within political and economic discourses. Accordingly, we suggest that increased critical engagement and participation with the process of mapping can productively aid dialog on many issues, including other current multiscale environmental issues, such as climate change.
03 Apr 2015Published in The Professional Geographer volume 67 issue 2 on pages 242-254. 10.1080/00330124.2014.922016